I like public parks.  I grew up as a park brat.  My dad was a long time manager of state parks in New York.  At one of the parks where he worked there was a small museum.  There was a large mastodon skull unearthed long before I was born.  It sat in a corner on display and yet dominated the room.I may be a conservative but I don’t mind spending my tax money when the government is efficient and I get something tangible in return.  Visiting parks makes me feel like I’m really part of this wonderful rock we call home.

Then I read stories about a plan to spend nearly a million dollars on a model of a woolly mammoth and I’m left scratching my head.

Since I doubt people will be sitting on the fake beast then why not have some college art students build it from chicken wire, clay and synthetic hair?  Wouldn’t it look the same and save hundreds of thousands of dollars?

And, this is a bigger point. How many people are going to drive to Hagerman and look at a large toy mammoth?  If you’re already going to the park there’s no benefit from increased tourism.  I’ve passed some marvelous sites on the nation’s highways and unless there’s something else to make a stop worthwhile I’ve just kept moving.

We can’t afford Medicaid expansion and we’re talking hairy elephants.